Hessett/Essex: Ex-policeman’s porn shame

A RETIRED policeman who downloaded hundreds of indecent photographs of children has walked free from court after a judge said it was not necessary to send him to prison.

Alfred Henry, who served for 30 years as a police officer with Essex Constabulary, was found to have 526 indecent photographs on his computer and a further 282 indecent images which had been printed off on to paper, Ipswich Crown Court heard. Robert Sadd, prosecuting, said the images were mainly of girls from the age of seven upwards and on a scale of one to five, with level five being the most serious, 379 were at level one, 78 were at level two, 178 were at level three, 171 were at level four and two were at level five.

Henry, 77, of Hubbards Lane, Hessett, near Bury St Edmunds, admitted two offences of making indecent images of children and possessing an extreme pornographic image involving an animal.

Sentencing Henry to a three-year community order Judge David Goodin said the circumstances of the case did not require him to pass a custodial sentence.

He told Henry: “These aren’t victimless offences. Looking at these images on a computer feeds the demand for children to be subjected to that sort of humiliation and cruelty.

“For a man of your background and hitherto impeccable character something must have happened to you or to your life to cause you to stray into this sort of area.”

As part of the order the judge ordered him to attend an internet sex offenders’ programme and said he should sign on the sex offenders’ register for five years.

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Andrew Shaw, for Henry, said his client was extremely remorseful for what he had done.

He said Henry had started looking at the indecent images in 2011 out of inquisitiveness and it had become “something of a habit”.

Mr Shaw said Henry’s first wife and son had died and after his arrest last year he had taken an overdose.

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